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Universal Health Coverage Day: “The hospital is like a mother to me”

News Health care

On Universal Health Coverage Day, we honour healthcare workers around the world. They are battling on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. And push things to the limit to provide other essential health services for their communities.

female doctor standing a doorway of a health faciltiy holding the hand of a female patient
January 2020. A Health centre in Jimma, Ethiopia, supported by Cordaid with results-based financing. Image: Cordaid/Frank van Lierde

Omo Nada hospital in Jimma, Ethiopia, is one of the hospitals which Cordaid has been supporting through our performance-based financing system. Let’s have a look at the work carried out by the hospital throughout the pandemic.

The hospital provides essential health services to almost 300,000 people in the area. Among them is Saida Aba Bulgu: “I am about to give birth in this hospital for the second time. The hospital is like a mother to me,” she explains.

Follow a Day in the Life of Omo Nada Hospital:

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Good quality maternal health services can greatly decrease maternal and infant mortality rate. But COVID-19 has heavily overstrained staff, and the hospital had to cut back on the maternal services.

Ensuring universal health coverage during COVID-19

Globally, the world has witnessed the ravage caused by a global health disaster, with frontline health workers bearing most of its burden. The pandemic has disrupted health systems and society at large. It has halted, or worse, reversed years of progress towards eliminating other killer diseases, such as malaria or tuberculosis, and toward advancing sexual and reproductive health services for all.

This is why Universal health Coverage (UHC) bears more significance than ever. We know that health institutions are a complex machine to run, let alone in low-income countries in the midst of a pandemic. At Omo Nada hospital, performance-based financing (PBF) supports health workers and helps the facility to provide quality health services for all throughout the pandemic.

CEO Nurezeman Gali explains: “I can say that PBF is the best thing that happened to this institution. The staff is also getting motivated not only by the bonus they receive from PBF, but also by the improved work environment. The hospital is one of the youngest hospitals in the zone. It is becoming amongst one of the top hospitals in a very short time”

The PBF programme is made possible by the collaboration between the Oromia Regional Health Bureau, Cordaid and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Universal Health Coverage: a plea for health as a basic human right

What does Universal Health Coverage stand for? UHC is first and foremost a plea for human rights because it is based on the common understanding that health is a basic requirement for a productive and dignifying life. With strong health systems, other public service systems like education can be safeguarded. And with stronger education, greater economic development can be fostered.

UHC Day commemorates the anniversary of the unanimous 2012 UN resolution calling for all countries to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare for everyone, everywhere.